Within Us

Why are you here? Does your life matter? Does what you say matter? Does what you do matter?

In 1963, Edward Lorenz presented a hypothesis to the New York Academy of Science. In summary, his theory was that: “A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air – eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet”.

He was literally laughed out of the conference, and for decades the so-called “butterfly effect” was the staple of science fiction. Imagine their surprise when more than 30 years later, physics professors world-wide came to the conclusion the butterfly effect was accurate!

The book “The Butterfly Effect” by Andy Andrews goes on to address the questions we all ask at some point in our lives – does my life matter? Do the things I say matter?  He uses multiple examples, including a story of how one man, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, made one move that impacted the world as we know it. It was through a dramatic “fix bayonets” order that had come as a last resolution to a seemingly overwhelming impossibility of holding Little Round Top hill.

Within five minutes of the actions following that given order, Chamberlain and his group of 80 men, without any ammunition, captured over 400 soldiers of the enemy. That battle was pivotal to the outcome of the Union Army’s victory of the civil war. As a result, the United States remained the much needed single union, and if you think about it –it was that same union that grew in power and became the underpinnings of victory in World War II and directly shapes the world we live in today.

Your life matters, too. Everything you say matters. Everything you do has an impact on others, a ripple effect not just in this life but for generations to come. Our sphere of influence is much, much larger than we could ever imagine. Having a passion for Jesus in the center of it sets us up perfectly to partner with Him in His plans for us.

What stands out to you about the following passage?

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.   - Ephesians 3:20-21

It’s common for our eyes to be drawn to the obvious part – “exceedingly abundantly beyond”.  Here is what stands out to me:  “According to the power that works within us”  WITHIN US!

Let me just say that what can happen is not always what will happen.  God has given us free will, and our free will has a direct impact on not only our lives but also the lives around us – not just in this lifetime but also for generations – just as the butterfly effect notes. He chooses to allow this so that in turn we may freely choose to partner with Him in accomplishing His will on this earth.

Let’s be honest, what are some thoughts that may come to mind when we think of partnership with God?

  • God’s purpose will be accomplished regardless
  • Why polish the brass on a sinking ship?  If we’re out of here, what’s the point?
  • There’s nothing new under the sun – this has all happened before.  We should expect it (as a side note, anyone who reads Ecclesiastes and realizes there is nothing new, per say, should also realize then that the bible has all the answers we seek, and precisely for that reason – we cannot take God by surprise!)
  • Apathy. Do I believe the Lord is apathetic and won’t (or possibly can’t) do anything about what I’m going through?  Do I believe somehow that it’s inevitable and I can’t stop what God has already stated is coming? 

Rest assured, His purposes WILL be accomplished.  We learn this from Esther 4:14:

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

What else do we learn from this verse?

  1. That if deliverance does not come by Esther’s hand, it will not go well for her and her household. 
  2. That God still desires partnership – He was seeking to accomplish His will with Esther in play

Have you ever been to a wedding and remember hearing the part when the pastor asks if anyone has anything against this couple getting married, and to basically “speak now or forever hold your peace”? When we say nothing, we are giving consent to the marriage! What marriages of evil and darkness are currently taking place that you have given your consent towards because of your silence?

In the early days of Hitler’s reign, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said in his message to the German church that to do nothing in the face of evil is evil itself. Did the church in Germany listen? No! Can you imagine for a moment with me what it might have looked like if they had listened? How many people might not have had to die? How many nations might not have had to live under communist rule?

The path of least resistance was to shut up in order to avoid persecution, but reality reflects that Germans suffer to this day for their silence.  Whenever you hear the word “Germany”, often the first thing that comes to mind is not Luther, Bach/Beethoven/Handel, Kepler, Koch, Christmas, the Gutenberg Bible and press, or even the Brothers Grimm, but “Hitler”, who by they way was not even born there! 

Yes, deliverance will come, but will it come now?  Will it come in the same way?  Will your children survive?  What will it mean for the generations that follow?

Apathy: What does it look like for us to face the apathy in our heart and ask why it is that we can stare into the face of evil and do nothing? What makes us lay down our arms and just walk away?

Do you see yourself wanting more, knowing that there is more to this life than how you’ve been living it, or do you see extraordinary faith in God as being unreachable, unattainable? My friend, it is within reach for all of us! Are we willing to say yes?


8 thoughts on “Within Us

  1. “What marriages of evil and darkness are currently taking place that you have given your consent towards because of your silence?” Riveting question, that! I can name one. Right at this time the U.S. Treasury Department has officially proposed converting to a government digital currency. It that goes in to effect, a totalitarian state will have a record every time one buys a pack of gum; or too many steaks, or Bibles, or whatever else is deemed bad for one’s ESG score.

    Liked by 1 person

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